- 18 Oct 2007
- Olympic News
The Olympic Movement United with the Iraqi Olympic and Sports Movement
Yesterday, IOC President Jacques Rogge received the wife and son of the President of the Iraqi NOC, Ahmed Al-Samarrai, who was kidnapped 15 months ago in Baghdad, along with NOC Secretary General and 22 other NOC office bearers and staff members including the presidents of the national boxing and taekwondo federations. The IOC President once again expressed the Olympic Movement’s solidarity regarding the ordeal experienced by Mr Al-Samarrai’s family, not forgetting the family of the other members of the sports community currently held as hostages. The situation of the sports movement in Iraq and its difficulties were also raised during this meeting.
Preparation of Iraqi athletes for Beijing
Owing to the situation in which the Iraqi sports movement finds itself, the IOC is taking part in several projects whose aim is to help the Iraqi athletes to continue their preparation for their participation in the Beijing Games next year. Thus, the IOC, through the intermediary of Olympic Solidarity, and in collaboration with the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), the European Olympic Committees (EOC) and the US Olympic Committee, has taken a series of initiatives in favour of Iraqi sport. Thanks to this collaboration, about 50 Iraqi athletes and coaches have been able to take advantage of suitable training facilities within various NOCs for the Asian Games in Doha in December last year and the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.